America, Georgia's got this
The final days of November 2020 were a profoundly scary and exhilarating time in America.
We were smack in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic that was claiming the lives of thousands each day, and at the same time setting aside our profound sadness when our broken hearts would allow it to revel in the joyous news that we had risen to the occasion and chosen democracy over fascism — good over evil — only three weeks earlier.
On November 3, 2020, America selected Democrat Joe Biden to be the next President of the United States, thus inoculating us from the awful Trump Virus that had ravaged the country the four previous years, and still afflicts millions to this day.
There were still political mountains to move during these emotionally blurry times, however, and our tired eyes turned to Georgia where control of the United States Senate was yet to be decided ...
Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff had joined a clutch of nationwide supporters and party influencers on a conference call as he drove home for a late dinner with his wife following a long day of campaign appearances all across the Peach State.
Ossoff was still alive to become the state’s first Jewish senator, and his buddy, Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock, was still in the running to become the state’s first black senator because decidedly racist election rules that were built by the suffocating hands of white, racist Republicans in Georgia 60 years earlier were finally in the process of collapsing all over their very own candidates.
The Georgia Republican incumbent senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, were in a strong position to be re-elected in the November 3rd popular vote, but because of the other GOP candidates in the field were unable to clear the necessary 50-percent threshold needed to win outright in the state, thus setting up runoff elections on January 5, 2021, against Warnock and Ossoff.
The 50-percent rule that had been put in place in 1962 by Republicans to prevent what they called “Negro bloc voting” and blacks from ascending to political office by galvanizing their support behind one candidate, was now blocking the lily-white Perdue and Loeffler from keeping their jobs in the Senate pending January’s runoff results.
If both Ossoff and Warnock, who were now tabbed as slight underdogs, somehow won on January 5, the United States Senate would be tied 50-50, and the nation’s first female Vice President and person of color, Kamala Harris, would have the deciding vote in the case of ties.
And if you aren’t seeing the delicious irony of all this, then I have done a rotten job of making the case.
Now Ossoff was on the phone with us delivering crisp talking points, setting the scene on the ground in Georgia, and taking questions from his eager supporters, who wanted him to know they were ready and willing to do whatever was necessary to help him and Warnock prevail.
That’s when he thanked everybody and said he had but one request, which he proceeded to deliver like an order:
“I know y’ll want to come on down here and help us get out the vote,” he said with a buttery southern accent, “But we would appreciate it if y’ll would just stay right where you are, be safe, and let us Georgians handle things on the ground here. This is our fight, and we got this. Thanks.”
This is our fight, and we got this …
Of course, Loeffler and Perdue could give no such orders to their supporters because their boss, Trump, was throwing a series of high-test tantrums and threatening anybody he could find in the state who had given Biden their stamp of approval.
The wild man was intent on flying in and landing in the middle of their rallies like an orange stink bomb and polluting the air whenever he damn well wanted. He made it clear he didn’t much care about them, or who won the Senate. He just needed everybody to understand that he was the victim here, and was looking to get even.
That meant threatening the lives of poll workers and shaking down Republican and Democratic election officials like the two-bit thug he most certainly always has been.
That meant lining up fake electors to hand to his mealy-mouthed vice president, Mike Pence, on January 6 to make sure our peaceful transfer of power was as crooked and violent as he was.
That meant flying in his sweaty orcs like Rudolph Giuliani, black hair dye dripping down his gross face, and lopsided lawyer Sidney Powell to poison the air and smash the integrity of Georgia’s airtight voting system by spouting one disgusting lie and empty threat after another.
Trump and his thugs quickly assembled a crime syndicate in the state with scotch tape, rusty nails and endless white privilege, all while a just-elected, black district attorney in Fulton County named Fani Willis sat back and quietly took notes ...
Ossoff and Warnock stayed focused, on message, and slowly began peeling away voters from their opponents, who were in the tank for Trump, and slowly drowning because of it.
By the time the runoff finally got underway the morning of January 5, there was something special in the air. Early voting had been strong, turnout was brisk, and Georgia was on the cusp of once again making history.
As the numbers came pouring in that evening it became apparent that Warnock was going to handily beat Loeffler. Ossoff was in a much tighter battle, but as the clock ticked toward midnight, had begun closing like a freight train on Perdue. When hours later, he finally caught and passed him, freedom rang.
The people of Georgia had heroically pulled off one of the greatest feats in U.S. political history by helping send the presidency to Biden, the Senate to the Democrats, and Democracy an injection of much-needed life.
Champagne corks popped all across America.
That celebration lasted only 12 hours.
On the afternoon of January 6, 2021, the day after Georgia was heard from again, our United States Capitol began to get ripped to shreds by an army of Trump’s Deplorables. Inside the Capitol, Republicans’ worst, among them, Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, indicated they weren't much interested in fighting fair or certifying Biden's win until they, too, were forced to run for their lives from Trump’s mob.
Our peaceful transfer of power, a hallmark of America, was now being wrecked by the most anti-American president in U.S. history.
The son of a bitch had actually attacked us.
While law enforcement officers were beaten with flag poles and crushed by the stampede, and lowlifes like Hawley and Cruz hid, Trump sat back in the White House, and for hours and hours did nothing but root for the attack’s success.
We know how that day ended, and for more than two years most of us have been waiting for justice to begin.
The traitor, Trump, is now facing nearly 100 felony counts across four states for his never-ending attacks on decency and our democracy.
Georgia, lead by the determined Willis, is intent on shutting down the crime ring that was built right underneath her discerning gaze. She’s not interested in having the criminals go unpunished. There’s been too much of that in her state’s storied history.
Sadly, and somewhat predictably, since the indictments in Fulton County were handed down late Monday evening, pointy-heads Inside the Beltway are questioning the necessity of these charges given Jack Smith’s federal barrage against the orange coward.
I guess they are concerned Willis is piling on.
These are the people who truly make me sick, and don’t understand a single thing about what occasionally makes us a truly great country.
There is no place in America that has giving me more pride than Georgia during the course of my long lifetime. Georgia’s sons and daughters have been beaten but proceeded unbowed.
Georgia, the state that has given us John Lewis and Martin Luther King … Jimmy Carter and Stacey Abrams … Andrew Young and Ralph Abernathy, Jr. … Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff …
Georgia, which carried on through a killer pandemic and threats from the President of the United States to make sure every, damn vote got counted is finally ready to hold their attackers into account.
Now we just need to get out of the way, and send them our support.
This is their fight, America, and they got this.
(D. Earl Stephens is the author of “Toxic Tales: A Caustic Collection of Donald J. Trump’s Very Important Letters” and finished up a 30-year career in journalism as the Managing Editor of Stars and Stripes. Follow @EarlofEnough)
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